This is your regular reminder that the culture war we are experiencing (with body count and all) is bought and paid for by the wealthiest class as a way to distract from them draining the country and the planet in order to overfill their coffers.
They own the media shaping people’s minds and opinions on both sides, they own (and sometimes are) the politicians. They are defining “normal” and “acceptable” and it’s all nonsense, and that nonsense kills people.
I am well aware that my presentation to most of the world (a fair-skinned male-bodied bearded bespectacled lefty-leaning person with a long-term exclusive opposite-sex partner, amongst other “normal” signifiers) affords me some cultural advantages that my fellow non-straight and otherwise atypical folks do not enjoy.
I do my best to use those traits to raise the voices of those who do not have that visibility rather than to bloviate about issues that may otherwise affect me.
I do this not for any sense of credit or ego, but because lived experience will always be more relevant and important than even the most compassionate speech by those not in as many positions of marginalization.
I’m pretty open about my identity in how I present to the world. I am a Queer person (which to me, defines a worldview as much as anything else). I am not a straight person. Ever more relevantly, I’m Jewish. My relationship is not traditional in many ways, though it is absolutely committed.
What I do know is that “Normal” feels super oppressive to me, rather than something I identify with. The prevailing culture is so toxic to intentionality, compassion, generosity, inclusion and wholeness and actively suppresses those things with violence and manipulation of narrative. It hurts women (cis and otherwise) especially, men in different ways and affords very little room for others along the spectrum.
Whenever possible, I strive to reject this “normalcy,” and avoid it. I am very much aware that I have the privilege to do so.
So what are some small things can we do in addition to the political acts of resistance we must take as people with privilege? What can we do as compassionate individuals desiring of a more whole human experience for all that is not afforded us by how things are right now? How can we move the needle?
Here are a few basic things. Fuck with the system. Make people uncomfortable. Make out in public. Hold hands with two people (don’t block the sidewalk). If you’re male-bodied / identified, hug your male friends without slapping them on the back. Be kind and uncompromising to individuals and merciless to systems and groups. Shut up and listen.
It’s even more radical, these days.